Stephanie Cox, coaching on the field (photo by Jane Gershovich, SoundersWomen.com)
Tukwila, WA – While the Sounders Women’s season has come to an end, new opportunities have arose for defender, Stephanie Cox, as she will join the University of Puget Sound coaching staff as an assistant coach for the women’s team. This doesn’t indicate the end of Cox’s playing career, but she is thrilled to begin this new chapter of her life.
“I am so excited,” Cox revealed on the Sounders Women Weekly radio show last Friday. “I knew for a long time that I wanted to pursue coaching and definitely with my schedule it was hard to fit that in.”
Randy Hanson, Head Coach at Puget Sound, shares in Cox’s excitement, “It is not often that a college program gets the chance to add a current world-class player to their coaching staff, but Steph is much more than that. She has shown she can excel in the classroom and contribute significantly to her community. She has a real desire to contribute. What a great role-model for our student-athletes!”
Cox said about coaching on the collegiate level, “I am excited about the college age. I am not quite sure how it will go but I am just excited about the tactics and the high level of play. I just hope to be able to teach them from my experiences and be able to connect with the girls.”
While relatively untested in the coaching realm, Cox brings an exceptional amount of playing experience to aid her in the transition. She has 81 caps for the U.S. Women’s National Team including two World Cups and the 2008 Olympics. After captaining the U.S. U-20 team in the 2006 World Championships, she went on to solidify herself in the full national team. With Team USA, she started every game in the 2007 World Cup, helped the U.S. win the 2008 Olympics, and then played a key role for the 2011 World Cup in Germany.
Hanson, who coached Cox this season for the Seattle Sounders Women, described her talents as a player, “Steph is very technical with both feet. As a matter of fact, I thought she was naturally left-footed until she informed me she was not. She is very tactical, with the ability to read the game at a high level both offensively and defensively. She is also a great leader, with the ability to connect with and get the best out of her teammates.
In addition to her US National Team experience, the Seattle Sounders’ playing career includes three seasons of professional soccer before coming to Seattle. This automatically qualifies her for a USSF National C coaching license, the third level of five offered.
“She reads the game very well and has a real passion to connect with players and share her knowledge and experiences,” Coach Hanson said. “Coming from predominately two high-level programs; University of Portland and Team USA, that is very valuable information to share. In my view, she has all the makings of a great coach. Now it is just a matter of gaining experience in the role.
While at the University of Portland, Cox’s 2005 team went undefeated and won the ‘05 NCAA National Championship. During that time she also competed for the U-19 and U-20 U.S. National Teams.
Currently living 20 minutes away from the University of Puget Sound in Gig Harbor, the job seems to be a perfect fit for Cox. She brings championship experience to a program that is familiar with winning. With 10 straight conference championships, UPS holds the longest active conference title streak in all of Division III soccer.
The University of Puget Sound women’s soccer team will kick off their 2012 campaign at home on September 1st against Capilano University at 1:00pm. For more information about UPS soccer, go to www.loggerathletics.com.